Good Luck To The Corpse - Max Murray (1951)
- Publication date
- Public Domain Mark 1.0
Good Luck To The Corpse was Max Murray's sixth mystery novel. Like many of his books, it made its first appearance in print in America, in a hardcover edition published by Farrar, Straus and Young. American paperback editions followed in 1952 (a Dell "mapback") and 1958 (Pyramid). The first UK edition was published in hardcover in 1953 by Michael Joseph.
From a 1951 Kirkus Reviews review:
"Better as a light novel with touches of murder and blackmail than a mystery tale, as once again Max Murray sets his scene in the glamorous siesta area of the French Riviera. Cast consists of Julian Ashford and his small son, Tyler, Ashford about to set off on another engineering project, and this time proposing to leave Tyler at a school in Nice; the school mistress, attractive youngish Penelope Whitecliffe, and her uncle who was to have Tyler in charge; phony big shot Raoul de Wollfe and his orchidaceous wife, Risa, who turns out to be Julian's missing wife - never divorced; John Keeble, ostensibly playboy, but actually deus ex machina; and a strange character who poses as an innocent, but is actually a spy. Two murders- blackmail- counterfeiting et al, before Risa is exposed not only as a bigamist but a murderer."
About the author:
MURRAY, MAX(well). 1901-1956. Born in Australia; newspaper reporter in that country, the U.S., and England; scriptwriter and editor for BBC during WWII; author of eleven mystery novels, all with the word "Corpse" in the title; four of his novels were serialized in The Saturday Evening Post (1947 "The Voice Of The Corpse"; 1948 "The King And The Corpse"; 1950 "The Corpse In The Sea"; 1955 "The Corpse On The Bed"); his fourth novel "The Neat Little Corpse" was filmed in 1953 as "Jamaica Run" (with Ray Milland, Arlene Dahl, Wendell Corey, and Patric Knowles); married to author Maysie Greig; died in 1956 on a visit home to Australia.
"Max Murray (1901-1956) was born in the Australian bush. He worked as an reporter on a Sydney paper, then set out to work his way around the world. He spent eight years in the USA, working in lumber camps and freight yards, and on a Mississippi tugboat. He later worked for the News Chronicle and became a foreign correspondent. During WW2 he wrote and edited Radio Newsreel for the BBC. His detective stories show a remarkable consistency in titles."
"Back when he was actively writing, which was up right up to his untimely death in 1956, Max Murray was never one of the big names in the field of mystery fiction. Even though he had a respectable string of detective novels in a ten year stretch between 1947 and 1957, he may not even have been in the second or third tier of big names, in spite of the fact that many of his books were reprinted in this country by Dell in paperback and either the Detective Book Club or the Unicorn Mystery Book Club in hardcover.
The problem may have been that he never used a series detective. I’ve thought this of several mystery writers before, but I don’t believe I’ve ever quite come out and said it. I think it takes a steady focal point, a recurring detective character that the readers can feel comfortable with before they’ll take the author to heart as well."
1) The Voice Of The Corpse (Farrar, 1947, hc); (Michael Joseph, 1948, hc) [Setting: England].
2) The King And The Corpse (Farrar, 1948, hc); (Michael Joseph, 1949, hc) [Setting: France].
3) U.S. title: The Queen And The Corpse (Farrar, 1949, hc); UK title No Duty On A Corpse (Michael Joseph, 1950, hc) [Setting: Ship].
4) The Neat Little Corpse (Farrar, 1950, hc); (Michael Joseph, 1951, hc); Film: Paramount, 1953, as "Jamaica Run: (screenwriter & director: Lewis R. Foster) [Setting: Jamaica] (Serialized in The Saturday Evening Post as "The Corpse In The Sea").
5) The Right Honourable Corpse (Farrar, 1951, hc); (Michael Joseph, 1952, hc) [Setting: Australia].
6) Good Luck To The Corpse (Farrar, 1951, hc); (Michael Joseph, 1953, hc) [Setting: France].
7) The Doctor And The Corpse (Farrar, 1952, hc); (Michael Joseph, 1953, hc) [Settings: Singapore; Ship].
8) The Sunshine Corpse (Michael Joseph, 1954, hc) (No U.S. edition) [Setting: Florida].
9) Royal Bed For A Corpse (Washburn, 1955, hc); (Michael Joseph, 1955, hc) [Setting: England] (Serialized in The Saturday Evening Post as "The Corpse On The Bed").
10) UK title: Breakfast With A Corpse (Michael Joseph, 1956, hc); U.S. title: A Corpse For Breakfast (Ives Washburn, 1957, hc) [Setting: Nice, France].
11) Twilight At Dawn (Michael Joseph, 1957, hc) (No U. S. edition) [Setting: Australia] (Non-mystery - autobiographical novel about Murray's early years in the Australian outback, which was ghost-written under his name by his son Bob Murray, at the author's request shortly before he died) (Scarce - only three copies are currently for sale on the major used book websites).
12) Wait For A Corpse (Ives Washburn, 1957, hc); (Michael Joseph, 1957, hc) [Setting: England].
The Red Water-Can (ss) The Story-teller September 1931
Best Man (ss) Cassell’s Magazine October 1931
So Like China (ss) Cassell’s Magazine November 1931
One Touch Of Hollywood (ss) The Story-teller March 1932
The Emperor’s Pony (ss) The Strand Magazine November 1932
The Good Loser (ss) The Grand Magazine April 1933
Change Of Scene (ss) The 20-Story Magazine May 1933
Alexandria (nf) Men Only April 1936
George And The Agent’s Ear (ss) The Passing Show February 18 1939
A Traitor Has No Home (ss) Britannia And Eve September 1940
My Continent, Right Or Wrong (ar) The Strand Magazine July 1946
The Voice Of The Corpse (sl) The Saturday Evening Post July 12 1947, etc.
The King And The Corpse (sl) The Saturday Evening Post January 17 1948, etc.
Sharp Right Turn (ss) Collier’s December 11 1948
The Queen And The Corpse (na) Mystery Book Magazine Spring #2 1949
The Corpse In The Sea (sl) The Saturday Evening Post January 7 1950, etc.
Big Game (ss) Esquire June 1950
The Corpse On The Bed (sl) The Saturday Evening Post January 22 1955, etc.
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